"Rillete de maqueraux" or the perfect hangover relief


I'm finally old enough to see it all coming, the days around xmas and new year were once again filled with dinner parties plenty of delicious food and as always a bit too much red wine. But this year I planned ahead ! While some were already out for these sometimes very dangerous company christmas dinners I made a night shift in the kitchen experimenting with something that should save me on these hangover mornings that were bound to follow - la rillete de maqueraux.

Rillete is something like a paté originally made with pork, the meat is salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat and then processed into a paste.
I came a cross fish rillete several times while traveling in france and always wanted to make my own version of it. As I said before it's the perfect hang over breakfast but it's also lovely served with toasted bread to accompany a soup dinner.

rillete de maqueraux

You'll need:

  • The flesh of 3 smoked mackerels ( or left over mackerel from a previous dinner)
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 - 2 organic lemons
  • Thyme leaves
  • A bit of pernod to quench
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

  • For the spiced butter:

  • 150 gr butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish

Slowly fry the shallots in butter. Add the Flesh of the mackerel and the chopped rosemary. Quench with the pernod, season with salt an pepper.

Cook for 2 minutes then take of the heat. Put into a food processor ( or blender) you want it to be soft enough to be spread on toast but not to mashy.
Add fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the chopped capers and some thyme leaves. Season with nutmeg and more salt and pepper is needed.

Fill into a glass and press it in tightly. Meanwhile make the clarified  and the spiced butter :

Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, nutmeg, pepper, anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set.
When just warm, but still liquid, pour over the fish and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.

Serve on toasted brown bread. The rillete can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.
With this technique one can experiment I also made a white tuna rilette with plenty of chopped dill.
If this does not help to cure your hangover why not try something stronger like kevins favorite breakfast toast:

Happy 2012!

Related Entries:
Grilled Mackerel and caramelized beetroot
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Scallops served on breadcrumbs and thai basil


I love the time around christmas. For a short while it's seems there is no other task but cooking, eating , drinking and be together with friends. We cooked several christmas dinners this year, for family and friends ( luckily we've also been treated with some :-)  ).
The quintessence of all the cooking over these days probably is this recipe for scallops which kevin came up with. We probably made it 3 or 4 times this december, always variating a bit - so here is our final version, together with some coeur de sel christmas impressions :

Scallops served on breadcrumbs with thai basil:

You'll need:

  • Scallops 5 per person
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • A bunch of thai basil
  • 1 lemon
  • Crisp rye bread
  • Fresh chillies
  • Salt, pepper and cumin seeds
  • 1 glove of garlic chopped

Start with baking the garlic. Preheat the oven to 220° chop off the top of 2 whole garlics, place in a ovenproof dish, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven till soft ( 1- 1.5 hours).

Sweat the spring onions till soft. Season with salt.

Prepare the plates. Put some crumbs of a crisp bread on the plate. Spread some of the baked garlic on.
Lay the washed basil leaves on top ( approximately 6 per plate).

Fry the garlic and the chillie and the cumin seeds in some olive oil. Add the scallops and fry on each side for 2 minutes. Take out of the pan and place on top of the breadcrumbs.
Season with fresh lemon  juice, fleur de sel and ground black pepper.



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Black noodles with Crab

Fast and delicious. This was one course of our christmas eve dinner.

You'll need:

  • Black noodles
  • Crab meat preferably nice big claws
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 dl Pernod
  • 1.5 dl double cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Greens to decorate

Bring salt water to boil. Add the black noodle and cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile quickly fry the crabmeat. Season with salt, pepper and a good dash of fresh lemon juice. Drain the noodles keep some of the pasta water, and but them back into the pan. Add the pasta water and the Pernod. Season with salt and pepper and heat again. Add the cream and mix well. Serve with the crabmeat on top and some bitter green salad leave for decoration.

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Fish pie "Killeel"

I came up with an other variation of fish pie. This time with a Puff pastry and sliced potatoes. To me fish pie is the ultimate comfort food.

You'll need:

  • 2-3 fennel
  • 400 gr white fish
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • Puff pastry
  • Tarragon
  • Dill
  • Cream
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • shallot

Lay out the dough and sprinkle with the chopped dill. Saute the onion add the fish and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season. Set aside. Meanwhile peel the patatoes and cut into fine slices. Boil in salty water for 1-2 minutes. Drain. Add the cream and season with slat, pepper and nutmeg.
Slice the fennel very finely.
Layer the pie starting with the fish followed by the fennel and the roughly chopped tarragon. End with the potatoes.
Bake in the oven ( 200 °) for 15 minutes or until the pie starts to turn golden.

Serve with a nice green salad.

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Spring salad
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Hughs fish fight

 Var Images Campaigns Hugh ParliamentScreen Shot 2011-12-11 At 10.57.28 Am

This world can be utterly crazy!  While it seams everybody is talking about how we can protect our fish stocks and how to consume reasonably this is the EU strategy to solve the problem?

Half of all fish caught in the North Sea is thrown back overboard dead due to the current quota system imposed by the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

The problem is that in a mixed fishery where many different fish live together, fishermen cannot control the species that they catch. 

Fishing for one species often means catching another, and if people don’t want them or fishermen are not allowed to land them, the only option is to throw them overboard. The vast majority of these discarded fish will die.
Because discards are not monitored, it is difficult to know exactly how many fish are being thrown away. The EU estimates that in the North Sea, discards are between 40% and 60% of the total catch. Many of these fish are species that have fallen out of fashion: we can help to prevent their discard just by rediscovering our taste for them.
Others are prime cod, haddock, plaice and other popular food species that are “over-quota”. The quota system is intended to protect fish stocks by setting limits on how many fish of a certain species should be caught. 

Fishermen are not allowed to land any over-quota fish; if they accidentally catch them – which they can’t help but do - there is no choice but to throw them overboard before they reach the docks.
Please sign the petition now. More information you can get at fishfight.net.

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Tuna on shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes

It's always the same, after a day at the office I ran into the closest grocery shop stressed once again because I'm to late to pick up our son from the nursery. I'm tired, hungry and I totally lack inspiration. Yet I wan't a proper dinner and I want something nice !  While rushing through the supermarket trying not to forget to buy coffee, cornflakes and milk our bare necessities I try to come up with a plan for supper. Something delicious but not to complicated usually I buy for several different menus because I'm to stressed to make up my mind but forget the essential ingredient ...Yesterday was one of these rare evening when I actually had an Idea an could focus on it.
The result was a delicious and fast dinner.

A stake of tuna on a bed of shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes served with glass noodle salad.

You'll need:

  • Tuna stakes
  • A bit of butter
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 small onion
  • 1-2 cup frozen edamame beans defrosted
  • 1 package of glass noodles
  • chillies
  • soy sauce
  • ginger
  • lime

Marinate the tuna in a mixture of lime juice, soy sauce, grated ginger and chili. Melt the butter, slice the onion and the mushrooms and slowly fry them over medium heat. Add the tomatoes season with plenty of salt and some pepper. Take of the heat. By the way I think shiitake and tomatoes is a combination made in heaven!
Cook the edamame in plenty of salt water.
Cook the glass noodles according to the package instructions. With with the edamame and season with say sauce, pepper and some ginger.

Briskly fry the tuna on both sides.
Assemble on the plate and enjoy.

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Beetroot marinated salmon with 2 kinds of beetroot

It looks like this was the ultimate beetroot weekend. We had our annual coeur de sel xmas dinner and even though 2 people claimed they don't like beetroot my part of the menu planning involved nothing but beetroot. Lucky me, both dishes very so  delicious them people forgot they din't like beetroot.
After yesterdays Mackerel with caramelized beetroot we today had salmon marinated  ( overnight ) in beetroot and orange zest accompanied with caramelized beetroot salad and a beetroot and port-wine dressing.
The dish is also from Aikens fish book It's not difficult at all but the salmon needs to be marinated over night and the kitchen get quire messy with all this different beetroot dishes.

I'm not gonna write down the recipe it's to0 complicated and by now you should know that you need the book,  it's worth every penny!

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Black linguine with octopus

The bast way of eating pulpo for me is with nice with bread and a good glass of red wine but this is a nice variation.
Cook the pulpo. Cook the black noodles,  when al dente drain them and mix with the pulpo and all the juices that are left in the pan.
Sprinkel with some finely cut celery stalks and italian parsley.

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Grilled Mackerel and caramelized beetroot

This is a new favorite in our home. Mackerel is one of the few fish not endangered by overfishing - theres so many of them -  but it's also a very tasty fish with a delicious taste. It goes perfect with the caramelized beetroot. We usually serve it with potato salad but you could also eat it accompanied with bread.

- 4- 5 Medium sized beetroot
- Olive oil
- 25 gr butter
- 1 tsb  chopped Thyme
- 3 Rosemary stalks
- 20gr brown sugar
- 150 ml balsamic vinegar
- 20 ml fresh lemon juice

Rub the beetroot with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap into aluminum foil and bake 1,5 hours in the oven ( 180° ).
Take them out and let them cool a bit, peel and cut into slices.
Heat the butter with and the olive oil add the beetroot the thyme, the rosemary . Slowly cook over medium heat for 10 - 20 minutes till the beetroots are caramelized. When the beetroot starts to get soft add the vinegar and the lemon juice and cook till the juice turns thick like a sirup and the vegetables are tender.

- 8 Mackerel filets
- 1 tsb fresh Thyme
- olive oil
- 2 gloves of garlic
- zest of one lemon and a good squeeze lemon juice

Make a marinade of chopped garlic, thyme, olive oil and lemon
filet the fish, cut the skin several times. Marinate on the skin side.

Put the fish on a baking tray skin side up and bake in the oven ( on grill very close to the grill ) for 3 to 4 minutes.

The recipe comes from my favorite fish cook book - Tom Aikens Fish

Related Entries:
Red Autumn Salad
"Rillete de maqueraux" or the perfect hangover relief
Beetroot marinated salmon with 2 kinds of beetroot
Yesterdays Dinner: Beetroot soup and Flammkuchen
Mixed green salad leaves with luke warm beetroot and roquefort
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Refreshing Spicy Summer Dish

Vietnamese or Thai food is ideal for hot summer days. Here's a recipe that serves as a basis for all kinds of dishes. We usually use it with shrimps and / or fish, but it works just as well with veg. We never tried meat, but I don't see why that shouldn't work also.

Thai Basil

Ingredients (serves 2-3 people):

  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1-3 fresh small thai chili
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • 1 fresh ginger root (roughly sized 60 x 30 mm)
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 3 teaspoons thai or malaysian curry or spice mixture
  • 20 - 50 leaves of fresh thai basil (depending on the size...)
  • 10 - 20 leaves of fresh mint (again, depending on the size)
  • 1 handful of unsalted peanuts
  • Your choice of fish, shrimps, other seafood or alternatively vegetables


  1. Peel and chop the garlic cloves into small bits.
  2. Chop the chili into thin slices, don't throw away the seeds, - use them. Wash your hands thoroughly after this!!!
  3. If you have large basil and mint leaves, rip them up into smaller bits and put them in a bowl to have them at hand when needed.
  4. roast the peanuts in a pan just like that, no oil or fat needed for this. Keep stirring until nicely brown. Put them to the side and have them ready for later.
  5. Chop your fish or vegetables into dices (maybe 30 x 30 mm) or make sure your shrimps are unfrozen and ready to go in the pan.


  1. Put the oil in the pan and turn on the heat (1 notch below maximum)
  2. While the oil heats up, you can already add the garlic, chili, cane sugar, salt and the curry or spice. Let it sizzle while stirring until the garlic starts to turn brown.
  3. Throw fish and / or seafood or alternatively vegetables in the pan - cook for about 10 minutes (depending on your choice). Depending what type of fish you chose, it may crumble into tiny bits - that's just fine, especially when using fish alongside shrimps.
  4. Put what you've cooked into the bowls you will serve the food in, add thai basil, mint and peanuts to the servings, squeeze lime over it and mix it up a bit. Remember that you're using the basil and the mint more like a salad than a herb in terms of quantity, so give each serving plenty of it. Enjoy!

Tip: Goes well with the "Sensational Soup" as starters and a green papaya salad alongside.

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